Does initial job status affect midlife outcomes and mental health? Evidence from a survey in Japan

Takashi Oshio, Seiichi Inagaki 26 September 2014

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Does starting working life with non-regular jobs decrease the odds of success in later life? There has been debate about the long-term consequences of flexible market entry across European countries (Scherer 2004, 2005). On the one hand, the entrapment scenario argues that once an individual begins his or her working life with a non-regular job – such as one with fixed-term contracts – entrapment in such jobs is inevitable.

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Topics:  Labour markets

Tags:  non-regular workers, Japan, Dualism

Unstash the cash! Corporate governance reform in Japan

Chie Aoyagi, Giovanni Ganelli 19 August 2014

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Cash holdings by Japanese companies are very high compared to other G7 countries. As it can be seen in Figure 1, the average ratio of cash and cash equivalent holdings to market capitalisation of Japanese listed companies during 2004-2012 was above 40%, compared to values in the 15-27% range in other G7 countries. Such high cash holdings coexist with a negative contribution of private investment to growth in the last few years and with falling real wages in the face of positive labour productivity growth for most of the last two decades.

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Topics:  Industrial organisation Microeconomic regulation

Tags:  Japan, corporate governance, cash holdings

Secular stagnation: Facts, causes, and cures – a new Vox eBook

Coen Teulings, Richard Baldwin 10 September 2014

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Teaser from original column posted on 15 August 2014

Six years after the Crisis and the recovery is still anaemic despite years of zero interest rates. Is ‘secular stagnation’ to blame? This column introduces an eBook that gathers the views of leading economists including Summers, Krugman, Gordon, Blanchard, Koo, Eichengreen, Caballero, Glaeser, and a dozen others. It is too early to tell whether secular stagnation is really secular, but if it is, current policy tools will be obsolete. Policymakers should start thinking about potential solutions.

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Topics:  Global crisis Macroeconomic policy Monetary policy

Tags:  interest rates, US, Europe, Japan, investment, macroeconomics, Great Recession, zero lower bound, savings, secular stagnation, SecStag debate

Natural disasters, firm activity, and damage to banks

Kaoru Hosono, Daisuke Miyakawa 13 August 2014

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Direct and indirect impacts of natural disasters

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Topics:  Environment Global economy Industrial organisation

Tags:  Japan, bank lending, natural disaster, earthquakes, firm activity

Identifying and quantifying monetary policy transmission through bank balance sheets

Kaoru Hosono, Daisuke Miyakawa 09 August 2014

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How does monetary policy affect firm activities? While there is long-standing literature on this issue, the transmission mechanism of monetary policy is currently attracting renewed attention. The reason is that many central banks – including the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the ECB, and the Bank of Japan – have introduced unconventional monetary policies such as quantitative easing and credit easing in the wake of the Global Crisis, and sooner or later will have to exit from these policies.

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Topics:  Financial markets Global crisis Monetary policy

Tags:  monetary policy, Japan, global crisis, quantitative easing, unconventional monetary policy, balance sheets, financial accelerator, credit easing, bank lending channel

Protection of intellectual property to foster innovations in the service sector

Masayuki Morikawa 20 July 2014

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Given the declining labour force due to population ageing, accelerating the productivity growth of industries – especially the service industries – is an important element of the growth strategy in Japan and most advanced countries. While there are a variety of factors affecting productivity, innovation is one of the key determinants of productivity growth. However, innovation in the service sector has not been studied well. I present findings on innovation in the service sector by focusing on the effect of intellectual property rights on innovation.

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Topics:  Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  R&D, growth, productivity, patents, Japan, innovation, services, intellectual property, trade secrets

Gender diversity in management in Japan is finally emerging: Comparison with China and South Korea

Hiromi Ishizuka 10 July 2014

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Japan was ranked 104th out of 136 countries on the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Gender Gap sub-index on economic participation and opportunity in 2013. This means that Japan has the second largest labour market gender gap among the advanced economies, next only to South Korea. Meanwhile, Japan’s population peaked in 2008 and has been on the decline since. As such, high hopes are being pinned on women as a potential workforce and also as the gender that can give birth.

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Topics:  Gender Labour markets

Tags:  Management, Japan, Gender diversity

Are large headquarters unproductive?

Masayuki Morikawa 19 June 2014

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The role of headquarters

Headquarters – the core service sector inside companies – conduct a wide range of highly strategic activities, including:

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Topics:  Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  productivity, Management, ICT, Japan, technology, headquarters, centralisation

Are large headquarters unproductive?

Masayuki Morikawa 26 August 2014

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The role of headquarters

Headquarters – the core service sector inside companies – conduct a wide range of highly strategic activities, including:

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Topics:  Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  productivity, Management, ICT, Japan, technology, headquarters, centralisation

Disagreement about inflation expectations: The case of Japanese households

Shusaku Nishiguchi, Jouchi Nakajima, Kei Imakubo 02 May 2014

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It is well known that inflation expectations vary across agents. Nevertheless, this fact has attracted little attention. Analysis of inflation expectations typically tend to focus on measures such as the mean and the median of such expectations. One of the distinguished exceptions is Mankiw et al. (2003), who discuss in a context of sticky information how the disagreement in US households' inflation expectations was evolving through the Volcker disinflation. Our recent research (Nishiguchi et al. 2014) has brought the disagreement issue once again to the fore.

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Topics:  Monetary policy

Tags:  inflation, Japan, inflation expectations

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